Fast Facts: America’s Newest Stealth Bomber

Aircraft manufacturer Northrop Grumman in winning the competition for a new strategic bomber, the B-21, has set to work on design and engineering for the stealth aircraft. Not much about is known about the project except for these facts:

  • The US Air Force will buy 100 aircraft
  • Estimated cost is $80 billion
  • Each aircraft will cost $511 million (in 2010 dollars)
  • The B21 is not expected to be in service before 2025
  • The “21” signifies it’s a weapon for the 21st century
  • There are no prototypes as yet but based on an artist’s conception it’ll have some similarity to the B2 Spirit
  • Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James received more than 4,600 entries in the naming contest. Air Force chief of staff David Goldfein chose the name.
  • The moniker for the new addition is Raider, which was the name of General James Doolittle’s group in the Second World War, Business Insider reported.

Doolittle led 16 B-25s on an aerial strike over Japan on April 17, 1942.  The mission was retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Eighty airmen volunteered for what was considered a suicide mission. In the end, all but three survive

Two airmen submitted the name as part of a contest held by the Air Force for Air Force personnel and their families. Officials felt that the proposed name “captured the essence of the bomber force,” stated the secretary of the Air Forse, Deborah Lee James, at the Air Space Cyber 2016 conference.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE